What a travelling Out of Office message says in the professional service industries (which includes CRE).

Out of Office messages allow us to communicate with people when we are going to be out of communication for a time.  Personally I hate them and try not to use them at all but still end up throwing one up about once a year.  An Out of Office message is basically a pass the buck opportunity to say “I’d love to respond to you but I can’t because I’m busy/travelling/on-vacation/dealing with another crisis.”

But how is this different from any typical day you are in the office?  I don’t know many people waiting around to simply process and deal with emails.  I also don’t know many people who haven’t communicated their time away beforehand.  For most of us, a 24 hour turn around on email messages isn’t a bad outcome on just a regular day in the office.  How is this different than travelling and only checking email in the morning/evening?  So why put up the Out of Office?

A big part of the job in a professional services role is to provide service.  An Out of Office message explicitly says “I can’t provide you service right now.”  How is that the right message to send?


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